The Rotterdam District Court, located in a neighborhood in Rotterdam called the “Kop van Zuid”, has gone through a large-scale renovation of the public reception area, the knowledge centre with a meeting area and the office environment. In order to provide a clear, safe and service-oriented entrance, the existing galleria, a glass-covered outdoor space between 3 building volumes including a metro station, has been transformed into a high-quality residential area.
Dura Vermeer won the Design & Build tender for the renovation of the Government Real Estate Agency in 2017 presenting a design by Fokkema & Partners Architecten. Materialisation of the new volumes in natural stone contributes to the obviousness of the change in use of the galleria. The entrance to the court now offers, literally and figuratively speaking, the warm, welcoming environment that connects the two buildings in which the court is housed.
On the one hand the building houses the courtrooms, on the other hand it houses the offices, the knowledge centre and the training area for the judiciary. After the traffic flows of the user groups come together in the renewed galleria, they are seperated to reach the right entrances.
The robust appearance, the long sightlines and a strong relationship with the harbour have been retained in the character of the reception area, with which, despite the change of function, the galleria is still experienced as one continuous whole. During the phased renovation, the court and the office environment remained in use.
Photography: Lucas van der Wee